Retired minister of the Presbyterian Church of Australia
I grew up in an, at least nominally, Christian family. Being born in 1950 in Australia it must be remembered that the quality of teaching and the expected commitment of one's life to Jesus was not the norm.
My parents were believers but, due to lack of good teaching and leadership, did not commit to Jesus as is expected of Christians. This, as an aside, is something that should be remembered when some Ministers and others are quick to judge people as not being Christian when it is really the lack of training that means that they don't demonstrate their faith as they are expected to do.
I went to a local Primary School (Telarah) and to the only Government Hight School in the Maitland district (Maitland High School). At that time MHS was an all-boy school. After leaving high school, I went to university for two years - but was really too immature for university at that time. So, I went to Maitland Technical College for four years (studying accountancy).
In 1972 I married Barbara and in 1976 God blessed us with a (great) son. Barbara and I took over junior and senior Sunday School at our church in 1978. I then became a member of the Committee of Management and, after a couple more years, an Elder.
I began studying for the ministry in 1987 (after many years of trying NOT to submit to becoming a Minister). I went to my first Parish (Dungog NSW) in 1991, where I was ordained. After five years I went to Wagga Wagga NSW, where I stayed for six and a half years. I was in my last Parish for just over 14 years (Manly NSW).
As I was suffering from burnout, at Barbara's insistence, I retired at 65. I didn't know what this would mean, but I trusted that God had a plan for me. And, of course, being the God He is, He did.
I have a ministry in my retirement that I never anticipated I would have - largely as a mentor to a few young men in the church attend. God is GREAT, sn't He?